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Afghan Car Bomb Kills 3 in Kandahar

US soldiers and Afghan security forces stand guard at the site of a car bomb in front of a branch of the Kabul bank in Kandahar on 27 Dec 2010

Police in southern Afghanistan say a car bomb exploded in the center of Kandahar city Monday, killing three people and wounding at least 26 others.

Authorities say the suicide attack happened outside a bank, as police officers were collecting their salaries.

The blast killed at least one police officer and one civilian, according to authorities. NATO officials say the attack also wounded at least six civilians and eight Afghan National Security Force members.

President Hamid Karzai issued a statement condemning the violence.

A NATO spokesman said the attack shows how desperate insurgents are to prevent the Afghan people from governing their own stable and free country.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast.

Southern Afghanistan, a traditional Taliban stronghold, has seen some of the worst fighting this year between militants and international troops, including Afghan forces.

Also Monday, NATO said one of its service members was killed in a bomb blast in southern Afghanistan. The alliance did not release any other details.